Shutter

Year: 2004
Director: Banjong PisanthanakunParkpoom Wongpoom
IMDB Link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0440803/

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review:
Shutter is a very entertaining, very spooky Asian horror film.  It is one of a number of recent films featuring a Yurei as the primary antagonist.  What makes Shutter different from many similar films is that it is not Japanese or Korean in origin, but rather comes to us from Thailand, and is one of a crop of “T-Horror” films that really bridge the gap between Eastern and Western horror.

The plot of the film involves a couple who run over a woman with their car one night after a wedding reception, and then begin to see the ghost of the woman.  However, not all is as it seems, and as the movie unfolds, the truth comes out.

The name of the film comes from the use of cameras as a means to see the ghost, and the movie also delves a bit into spirit photography, including some actual unexplained photos which the filmmakers make special mention of just before the final credits.  The use of photos, especially photos showing things that should not be there, adds to the tension in the movie.  As events spiral further out of control, the pictures change from being a simple plot device into a clue to the mystery at the heart of the story.

The two primary actors turn in wonderful performances in this film, and even though I don’t speak the language, their expressions, tone and overall body language really brought the story to life.  The main actor, Ananda Everingham, is really put through the wringer in this film and plays the part of a man tortured by guilt very well.

I found this film especially interesting because the ghost was clearly meant to be a Japanese Yurei, including the signature long hair and single, angry eye.  Thailand has its own traditional ghosts, but clearly the Yurei trend has spread.  Note that in the film the ghost is never referred to as a Yurei, though it is in the American remake.  Speaking of the remake, I would suggest avoiding it as it does not have the same emotional strength as the original.

Possibly one of the best Asian horror films of the last decade, Shutter is well worth a viewing on Netflix.

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